Daniel Fears

Daniel Fears: “Say Something”

Here at KUTX and Song of the Day, we try to be as dutiful as we can in providing both an accurate representation of the Austin Music Experience and great tunes. But honestly, all talent aside, for some local artists we often have to dig around to find something that’s actually airwave worthy. Daniel Fears, on the other hand? He’s done a damn fine of delivering his fair share of bar-raising originals to Austin’s ever-growing musical accoutrements.

And that’s a big part of why we named him our July 2021 Artist of the Month, right around the release of his debut EP Canopy. Based on its towering soul-R&B-hip-hop caliber, Fears has understandably been flying high off of Canopy over the past couple years. Now that doesn’t mean downfall is in the cards for Daniel Fears anytime soon; no, the consistency of Fears’ artistic drive is still deafening to this day, even if his dynamics of choice are more subdued. Well, following a pair of standalones in 2022, and hot off a Mongolian tour providing brass for Gina Chavez’s band, Daniel Fears sets course clear of mediocrity once again with Enough.

As the title implies, Enough achieves an infectious equipoise of emotional vulnerability and seductive self-esteem thanks to Fears’ faultless falsetto, kaleidoscope of sonic influences, and recognizable calling card of production techniques. On Enough‘s lead single, “Say Something”, there are some clever threads ranging from D’Angelo, Sly Stone, Bobby Womack and even Musiqsoulchild in its final moments, none of which could’ve landed if not for Fears’ top tier backing band. Between a liquid guitar groove, spacious snaps, hypnotic bass, atmospheric keys, and of course, Daniel’s Frank Ocean-esque vocals, safe to assume “Say Something” may just leave you speechless.

Daniel Fears: “Keep On”

It’s been a little under a year since we named Daniel Fears as our July 2021 Artist of the Month, right around the time he shared his debut EP Canopy. Since then this multi-instrumentalist-producer has had no problem selling out shows, thanks to his velvety vocals, intimate lyrics, and surreal R&B soundscapes. And although Fears’ style has been compared most frequently to that of Frank Ocean, it’s the endearing magic of Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On that’s inspired Fears’ songwriting more recently.

That same sense of socially-conscious progressive-soul is present throughout Daniel Fears’ upcoming sophomore EP. His already-impeccable singing skills are somehow even stronger than on Canopy, giving Samm Henshaw and Daniel Caesar a genuine run for their money. Today Daniel Fears released the first single from that upcoming album, whose title, “Keep On”, immediately recalls the colloquial naming conventions of What’s Going On standout “Right On”. This poignant champion of pandemic-era perseverance is Fears’ most personal track to date, and staying true to the multi-media approach taken on Canopy, “Keep On” is accompanied by a gorgeous music video that features longtime KUT contributor Nadia Hamdan.

Daniel Fears: “Windows” (KUTX Pop-Up)

Though his auspicious solo career’s only just begun, Austin-via-Houston producer/trombonist/vocalist Daniel Fears has already shown a real knack for wedding sound with image. As the only R&B singer we can recall who looks like they designed their wardrobe at a military surplus store, Fears (with his signature drab jumpsuit equipped) released his debut EP/visual album Canopy last October, and better late than never, earned him the distinction of our July 2021 Artist of the Month.

Defying any implications of his surname, Fears’ compositions are courageous to say the least, and yet he’s continued to shed any of the pretentiousness you might expect from an artist of his caliber. Daniel Fear plays tomorrow evening at Malverde, hosts My KUTX this Saturday, and graces us today with glimpse into his intimate performance style with one of Canopy‘s lushest originals, “Windows”!

To Play, or Not to Play?

In the latest episode of Pause/Play we tackle the question “To Play, or Play or not Play?” We asked 15 Austin Musicians the same questions — Have you performed during the pandemic?  Are you ready to perform now?  What would it take to make you feel comfortable performing the way we used to pre-pandemic? Their answers provide insight into what it’s been like to be a musician during COVID and what kind of decisions artists are faced with now that more people are getting vaccinated and COVID restrictions are loosening.

AUSTIN, TX. May 7, 2021. Pause/Play. Tameca Jones is pictured in Central Austin. Michael Minasi/KUTX

In this episode you’ll hear from:
Tameca Jones
Chinasa Broxton from Tribe Mafia
Daisy O’connor
Nayome
Topaz McGarrigle from Golden Dawn Arkestra
Yin & Yang
Gina Chavez
Corey Baum from Croy and the Boys
Jaehross
Megz Kelli and Dougie Do from Magna Carda
Sara Houser
Chris Conde
Daniel Fears

Let us know your thoughts! Take the Pause/Play Survey!

AUSTIN, TX. May 4, 2021. Pause/Play. Jaeh Ross is pictured in South Austin. Michael Minasi/KUTX

Listen to the Songs featured in “To Play, or Not To Play?”

AUSTIN, TX. May 4, 2021. Pause/Play. Topaz McGarrigle, of Golden Dawn Arkestra, is pictured at his home in East Austin. Michael Minasi/KUTX